Wisconsin’s Best Par 4 Holes

Quite possibly the most beautiful golf hole I have ever played, the 14th at Meadow Valleys is deemed “Nature’s Course.” From the elevated tee boxes, the Pigeon River and on most days teems of fly-fishermen are seen down the hill and to the right. The tree lined fairway plays slightly to the left, and is not advisable to drive. Hit it straight and aim for the middle of the fairway, in hopes of receiving a charitable downhill run.
The hole slants to the right, and further downhill where the green is surrounded on three sides by the river, and a charming bridge made from an old flat-bed train car. The river runs hard to the right, and anything errant will fall dramatically from the playing surface.
Hole 14: Par 4 (423/409/384/376/293)

2. Whistling Straits, Straits Course #18 (520/487/424/420/380):

The finishing hole on the Straits could very well be one of the toughest golf holes in the entire world. Par on this 520/487-yard behemoth, which is set to be four, should be considered a monumental task, but will I’m sure be required on Sunday of the 2015 PGA Championship for whoever hopes to take home the Wanamaker Trophy.

Nicknamed “Dyeabolical,” after Pete Dye, of course, the eighteenth is 520 yards from the black tees and 487 from the blues. A split-fairway is found atop the hill in the driving area, and anything between the fairways may travel too far. 


The long approach from anywhere on the upper-right fairway is best targeted right of the clubhouse in the distance. Anything left of that is likely to find the stream or wasteland between and below. The cloverleaf green on eighteen is iconic to golf, and a fantastic way to finish this incredible championship golf course. 

Hole 18: Par 4 (520/487/424/420/380)
 
3. The Bull at Pinehurst Farms #5 (436/404/388/361/308):
Nicknamed “Follow On,” the fifth hole at The Bull is one of the most intimidating par four tee shots in Wisconsin. Narrow and through heavy woods, a 40-foot deep ravine resides on the left side of the fairway. The club did a great job on the terracing added to the left side drop-off this season.

If you find the bend in the fairway, you will have a shot at the green in two, which is over the back-side of the ravine and directly left. Stay long, if anything, because short is dead. This is a phenomenal par four, with bite.

Hole 5: Par 4 (436/404/388/361/308)
4. Lawsonia, Woodlands Course #2 (341/329/315/315):

The second hole is one of my favorites at the Woodlands. 200 yards down the middle of the fairway lives a huge quarry that drops deep from the hitting surface. A bailout fairway lies to the right, while the more appropriate fairway to the left is narrow and sheltered by trees.A large stone observation tower, known locally as Jutson Tower, looms above the fairway, and a huge oak tree is centered in front of the green, guarding the back-left green location. Playing early on a Sunday morning, chimes and church music provided fantastic ambience to the hole.

Hole 2: Par 4 (341/329/315/315)

5. Geneva National, Gary Player Course #5 (354/310/283/257/255):

Hole five on the Player course is an instant classic! A true risk/reward hole, the fairway in front of the green is drivable, but requires at least 225 yards to carry the waste area and fingered sand traps. The bail-out fairway to the right is much more accessible, although it adds considerably to the hole’s yardage.

The green’s front-right bunker is deep, and woods to the left must also be considered if going for this green from the tee. At 310 yards from the gold boxes, this is one of the best short par fours I have ever seen or played.

Hole 5: Par 4 (354/310/283/257/255)

6. Whistling Straits, Irish Course #10 (398/387/378/361/340):

The tenth hole on the Irish is one of the most awe-striking holes in Wisconsin. With Lake Michigan on the horizon, the wind is always a factor. The fairway runs significantly uphill and to the left, and missing it is catastrophic. The multitude of random bunkers built into the hills on the right side of the fairway are demonic, and will leave little to no chance of reaching this green in two.

Hole 10: Par 4 (398/387/378/361/340)

7. Blackwolf Run, River Course #5 (427/400/388/376/275):

The fifth is the first hole played on the River course that is not part of the Original Championship track – the Original Championship skips five through thirteen and instead rounds Swan Lake to fourteen as its fifth. Three times leading up to our round I was told about the tee shot on five, and it did not fail to impress! 

With highly elevated tee boxes, five is nicknamed “Made in Heaven.” Having played the River many times on Tiger Woods Golf for Playstation 3, I should have known what was coming, but was still awe-struck by such a majestic driving scenario.


The drive on five is to a wide fairway that is bordered long and left, as well as on the right side by a large sand trap, and right of that trap by the Sheboygan River. The tee shot is relatively simple on this hole. The approach, however, is not. High uphill, the approach plays to a plateau that is cut out of the tree line and drops straight down twenty feet on the right side. This drop is reminiscent of the right side of the green on the “Boxcar Hole” at Lawsonia’s Links course, if that helps you picture it.

Hole 5: Par 4 (427/400/388/376/275)
8. Blackwolf Run, Meadow Valleys Course #18 (458/395/383/373/303):
The finishing hole at the Meadow Valleys course, nicknamed “Salmon Trap,” is the first hole I have seen with two separate greens. The women play to a shorter distance, around 300 yards, that finishes before the Pigeon River. The men play across the river, just short of the Blackwolf Run clubhouse.
With about 250 yards to the river, the tee shot can be played farther left to allow use of a driver. The approach over the river is fairly long to one of the largest greens on the course. This is a gorgeous finishing hole at a gorgeous golf course.
Hole 18: Par 4 (458/395/383/373/303)

9. Brown Deer Park #1 (461/447):

Bown Deer Park starts with probably the hardest opening hole in the state: A 461-yard beast of a par four that doglegs right and is well guarded by trees, a large pond on the left side of the fairway, and deep sand traps all around the green. Score a par or bogey on this hole, and consider your round off to a great start.
Hole 1: Par 4 (461/447)

10. Erin Hills #12 (466/432/388/388/317):

At a course where the norm is large, elevated greens, the twelfth at Erin Hills goes oppo. At 388 yards from the green tees, fescue will envelop anything errant whether off the tee or from the fairway. In contrast to the majority of the course’s greens, the one on twelve actually resides in a small hollow that is blind from most approaches.

Sand traps line the right side of the green, while the rest is defended by tall fescue that shrouds it from view from the left.

Hole 12: Par 4 (466/432/388/388/317)
 

Honorable Mention:

11. University Ridge #4 (467/398/354/304):

With a tee shot over water, a cut drive is necessary to give yourself a chance at the uphill approach to an elevated green that requires at least a club or two of extra distance to reach. The left side of the driving area is lined with trees, while the right side falls off into fescue and an unreachable pond.
Hole 4: Par 4 (467/398/354/304)

12. Ironwood, Meath Course #3 (278/273/235):

Another short par four, the third on the Meath is as fun of a hole as I have ever played. Playing downhill from elevated tee boxes, the green is reachable from the tee, but good luck at stopping the ball there!

The green is surrounded on three sides by water, and two large sand traps. There are approach areas on both the left and right side, but the right side plays much more difficult. The left side fairway will allow an unimpeded shot to the green, which slopes severely toward the water on the right side. This is a fantastic par four, and my favorite of Ironwood’s 27 holes.

Hole 3: Par 4 (278/273/235)
13. Grand Geneva, Brute #18 (464/437/335):
Eighteen is a wonderful finishing hole at the Brute, and plays slightly less intimidating than the onboard GPS shows. The bunkers lining the right side of the fairway should help keep shots out of the water, but will leave a long way to go. With the pin residing on top of a huge crown during our round here, the eighteenth provides a tremendous putting challenge for finishing the round.
Hole 18: Par 4 (464/437/335)
14. The Oaks #14 (435/403/352/347/307):
The fourteenth on The Oaks is almost visible from I-94, and is my personal favorite par four on the course. It is a tough hole, primarily because of the long forced carry over wetlands on the approach. The drive can be up to around 250 yards from the tee, but the further right the ball is driven, the longer the approach will be. This hole sets up great with a drawn 3-wood or driver off the tee.
Hole 14: Par 4 (435/403/352/347/307)

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